I’ve been struggling with whether or not to download Facebook’s new app aimed at children, Messenger Kids , onto my daughter’s iPad. This weekend, I took the plunge. I sat with her as she typed her first message and sent a selfie. I watched as she discovered GIFs. I wasn’t sure I had done the right thing.
No one wants to surrender their kids to online social networks, but children can be exposed to even more danger by going around their parents’ backs.
This point was drilled home for me a few days ago, when a friend discovered her daughter downloaded the messaging app IMVU without her parents’ knowledge. The child was almost immediately contacted by an adult man, whose conversations indicated he was a child predator in the early stages of grooming his victim. (The police were called and are now investigating.)